Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 22 - 26

Ellie came home with her very own school ID.  It is her first one and she was so excited about it!

Greg has been gone a lot lately between working 2 full-time jobs, being Stake President, and squeezing in a few basketball games.  We needed an adventure, so we went to the Puppy Barn to pet puppies.  The girls loved the labs the best.  It was a fun time to see all of the puppies and to realize, even with my NAET treatments for animal dander, I still had a slight reaction to holding this puppy like this for a long time.  It was much less than it would have been before, but I will have to tell Greg his dream of having a lab is still not feasible.

Ellie had a late night with Rachel.  They wore their pajamas and watched part of a movie, and then played the rest of the time.  It was great!

Ellie picked out her first pair of frames.  I really thought she would pick the red Hello Kitty ones (she has been dreaming of those for months), but she went with this one instead.  She did a great job -- they are really cute!

Lynnie loved posing with the stuffies she was taking to church.  She "borrowed" one of Cece's blankets to wrap up Princess Leia.

This is the cutest pirate I've ever seen!

When we ordered Ellie's glasses, the guy said it could take up to 2 weeks but would probably be sooner.  After only a few days, I got the text that her glasses were in!  Ellie was so excited to go and pick them up after school.  She has been begging for glasses for a while, and I kept on trying to talk her out of it.  Her prescription is -1 in each eye, so she is really on the border of needing glasses.  She was convinced that they would really help her so we moved forward.

After picking up her glasses, we did a little shopping at Costco.  Within 10 minutes, Ellie decided glasses were not as fun as she imagined they would be.  She was a good sport about wearing them, even as they hurt, and got used to them in a couple of days.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cece's Birthday

Cece's birthday started off with a bang at ASL playgroup.  Kristi set up a teddy bear picnic, and we brought along Cece's favorite bear.  Cece loved feeding her bear, and it was a lot of fun.

 Next we had a quick check-up with the surgeon, who spent about 3 minutes with us.  Dr Chaffin said Cece was healing beautifully and sent us on our way.  The highlight was definitely seeing the fish on our way in and our way out.

 After dinner, we hosted Cece's birthday party.  It was pretty relaxed, with a handful of family members and {R} there.  We ate cake and ice cream, opened presents, and watched Cece play with {R}.  I didn't take very many pictures -- I was having too much fun with our loved ones.

Before people came, I tried to get some pictures of the family.  It is hard work to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time, when we are anticipating a party.

A look at Cece's bandage.  The incision was very small.  I was really happy at how Dr Chaffin was able to keep most of Cece's hair -- just shaving a tiny bit right around the incision.

One of my favorite parts of the night was singing Happy Birthday to Cece.  Ellie taught everyone how to sign it, and we all sang and signed.

{R} and Cece

One of Cece's favorite presents was this little doll that came with a violin.  She immediately signed VIOLIN and held it for a good portion of the night. (And we didn't lose that violin until March...)

Cecilia is 2 Years Old

. : sorry for the fuzzy picture -- just wanted a close-up of Cece's bandage : .

At 2 years of age, Cece

~ wears size 5 diapers, size 3-4 shirts, size 3 pants, size 6 shoes
~ is really coordinated and athletic.  Will climb anything and can balance in high heels.  Loves to go down the slide.
~ loves to jump on two feet
~ loves to fold her eyes and squinch up her eyes during prayer
~ thinks it is time to sing and will start conducting music every time Greg pulls out his scriptures.  So most scripture time starts with a song.
~ will only sit in the big part of the shopping cart at the store -- none of the seats at the front for her.
~ walks up and down the stairs by herself
~ has figured out how to open doors
~ is most happy when we are following a routine
~ is a spunky firecracker.  We are so lucky to know her and have her be a part of our family.  We sure love her birth mom!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 16 - 20

Cece did pretty well that first night of sleeping.  She and I spent most of the night snuggled in the recliner, but I did put her in my bed with me around 4:30 a.m.  She was a little uncomfortable when it was about time for her next dose of medicine, but overall she coped really well.

After a bath, I dressed her in clean pj's and she snuggled daddy for a long time on the couch.

I was really impressed by how quickly Cece wanted to play, acting like her normal, happy self.   

 We all went with Ellie and Greg to the church for Ellie's basketball lesson.  Cece had more fun than Lynlee (who spent most of the time pouting).  Cece ran all over the gym, chasing the balls.

I tiptoed in to check on Cece during a nap, and it looked like she fell asleep sucking on the doll's bottle.

Apparently Cece lived in pj's for a week after surgery!  We had fun with Kiera and Kylene, who came and spent the afternoon and evening with us.  They even brought and cooked us Sunday dinner -- pork roast and Jonette's famous kraut noodles.  It tasted delicious, especially since it was made with love.  We sure love our cousins!

Lynnie was so excited to line up the Star Wars figures that were done.  It makes me happy to work on them for her because she is so appreciative when they are done.  Wicket and Princess Leia have replaced Puppy.  Lynnie takes them with us everywhere and sleeps with them at night.  It is super cute, but I kind of miss Puppy.

It was fun to go and support Kanisha at her graduation ceremony.  She is a Medical Assistant and got a great job at the same place she was an intern.  Lynnie brought her dolphin since Kanisha had given it to her for Christmas.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cochlear Implant Surgery - Right Ear

The day we have been anticipating is finally here -- surgery day.  I was a mess of emotions: hope, fear, nervousness, worry, cautious optimism.  We were supposed to be at the hospital at 9:15, so our morning routine was normal and included family prayer before getting Ellie off to school. 

While we were waiting for Greg to get back from the school drop-off, I gave Cece her allowed liquids.  She wasn't a big fan of the gatorade or water options, and kept on signing MILK.

Tammy came for the first shift to play with Lynlee (my mom came after she finished teaching violin lessons that morning), and we were off.  Cece was not happy about being in the car and not being able to have a drink.  She clutched her new monkey from Auntie B and told us all about her disappointment.

We got to the hospital a little early, around 9, and got all checked in.  As we sat down in the waiting room, my phone rang.  A nice lady on the phone said that the surgeon was running behind and we didn't need to come until 10.  Well, it was a little late for that...

About 10, they took us back to a holding room and we got Cece all changed into her surgery clothes.  Her bed was all set up with Minimus (a flying horse from Sofia the First), a princess crown, and a princess wand.  Cece looked at the toys for a few minutes, but preferred her monkey and blanket.  Her sisters loved all of her treasures when we got home that night.

Cece was a trooper as we waited, and waited, and waited for it to be our turn.  She would sign MILK and then just sigh or put her head back down when we signed LATER. 

Cece was scheduled for surgery at 10, and she was the last one on the schedule for the day.  There were 6 procedures ahead of her, and the last 3 had things happen that caused them to go long.  The staff took excellent care of us, keeping us informed and helping us keep Cece distracted.

I finally got her to take a nap for about an hour.  Her poor little body just gave up.

After her nap, Cece was harder to console.  She hadn't had any food since 6 p.m. the previous day, or any liquids besides a few sips of Gatorade since 11 the previous night.  Our nurse rustled up a wagon and we walked in circles around the ward for about 30 minutes.

And then, at last it was almost time.  We elected for Cece to get a dose of Versed, a sedative.  We were worried about how she would do otherwise as she went off to surgery.

While we were waiting for the Versed to take effect, we had a meeting with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.  Cece got her right cheek marked.

When that Versed kicked in, the difference in Cece's demeanor was remarkable.  The anesthesiologist said it would be like she was drunk.  She went from limp and listless to giggly and wiggly. 

. : trying to make a thumbs up took a few tries : .

And then she was off (at 1:15)!  Cece willingly went with the nurse, waving bye-bye to us.  Those of you who know Cece, know what an impact that medication had on her.

The nursing staff, or hospital (I'm not sure which), gave us some vouchers to eat at the cafeteria as an apology for the delay.  Greg and I went and grabbed some food and then settled in for the wait.  It was four hours until we saw her again.  I worked on crocheting R2D2 and Greg worked on actual work on his computer.

The part I was most anxious about all day was being with Cece when she woke up from anesthesia.  When Lynlee had eye surgery, the waking up process was pretty stressful and she had a really hard time.  The experience with Cece was much different.  She just wanted me to hold her, and she immediately fell asleep again.

That face!  Ah...  I am writing this up after two months, when Cece is all healed and we are seeing success every day with hearing sounds.  It hurts my heart to remember this moment...

After a few minutes, Cece woke up and drained a cup of apple juice.

Then it was time for another nap.

Daddy needed some snuggle time, so I reluctantly handed my baby over (yes, MY baby -- not our baby at this moment ;)

After a second cup of apple juice, Cece started to perk up a little bit and we were cleared to go home.

Cece could not keep herself awake, even when we were changing her clothes.

Ellie and Lynnie were really glad when we made it home.  It had been an anxious day for them as well.  Grandma had taken them to her house to play for a few hours, which was the perfect distraction.  They met us back home and were glad to see Cece doing pretty well.  Lynnie, especially, loved the "Princess Leia" bandage.

Some things that stand out to me about surgery day:

~ the love and support we felt from so many friends and family members.  Thanks to everyone who reached out and let us know that you were thinking of us and praying for Cece.
~ how adaptable Cece was and how accepting of all of the strange things that were happening to her
~ how Cece's prescribed pain management was ibuprofen.  Dr Chaffin also prescribed baby-strength Lortab, but we never used it.  She did fine on ibuprofen alone.  Craziness! (And crazy that Costco's bottles of baby Motrin are less expensive per ounce than the $10 copay we had on the generic ibuprofen prescription from the pharmacy.)

The plan continues to be to evaluate in 3 months how Cece is doing, see how her therapy is going, and see how she is responding to sounds.  If all is going well (as predicted), we will schedule her left ear for surgery and do this all over again.


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